Monday, June 14, 2010

Spotlight on Queer Team Member HempHelpers!

HempHelpers interviewed by enlightenedartisan

What sorts of things do you offer in your shop?

Typical hippie gear. All my jewelry and accessories are made with hemp. I have necklaces, branklets (my own category, just referring to items that can be worn as bracelets or anklets), head bands, belts, key chains, and clipcritters (little pals made with beads and hemp that have alligator clips). Nearly all these items also have alligator clips, for both strong secure clasp, and for those that partake, an easy way to prevent burned fingers and lips ;)I also offer art, stash jars, and tie dye clothing.

How did you first start selling on etsy? How long have you been selling? Do you sell anywhere else?

I heard about it from a friend, and immediately jumped on the band wagon. I started crafting in January of 09, and went to Rothbury that summer to sell my wares out of baskets. Shortly after that I heard about etsy, which is the only place I was selling for a while. I am now currently in a few headshops and art stores around Michigan. I’m getting close to my one year anniversary of my shop opening!!

Tell us a little about your typical creative process and how you go about making your work. What kinds of steps do you usually go through?

It varies, sometimes I pick out the center bead or focal point and work around it, or I’ll pick out the hemp colors and figure out which bead goes best with it. From there I take in account my desired client, male/female/unisex, type of knot to use, and overall size of the piece. I work in a social atmosphere; good company helps you produce good products! It helps you be more at ease and relaxed, and not takes mistakes as seriously. Nothing in the world is perfect, and imperfections just make each piece more unique. This goes for my other crafts too, not just the hemp crafting. Being social and feeding off other people’s good vibes really inspires me.

What are your favorite materials to work with?

Hemp is my number one favorite. I use it exclusively for all my jewelry and accessories. In addition to that, I love to tie dye, paint, and draw. I will be learning how to work glass and make clothing in the near future too.

Are there other creative projects you are involved in outside of yourwork in your etsy shop?

I will be starting to try my hand at glass working. Lampworking and glass blowing, once I get it down pat you’ll be sure to see my work in my shop!

Besides art/crafty stuff, what else do you like doing in your free time?

Hmm, tough question. My spare time is when I do all my crafty stuff. But now that it’s summer time, I plan to spend the warm days with friends, music, and peace.

Does your queer identity come into play in your work?

Sometimes it does. Mostly my hippie identity rules the grounds, but I think that was spurred by my queeritude. I learned respect and understanding of different ways of life from being gay, and I use that for motivation when I work. But I have made quite a few rainbow pieces intentionally because I was gay.

What are your hopes for the Queer Etsy Street Team? What brought you to join?

I love the feeling of belonging with people. And how the slightest similarity in people can bring all types of different backgrounds together. I love the welcoming atmosphere the queer team has. I hope to become a productive member of the team, providing input and having fun. I think its great what the team does and I am proud to start being a part of it.

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